The very last RPO thread (from the coach's mouth)

ghost2

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Richt speaking about Berrios yesterday:

Again, so much is predicated on what the defense does. If he’s a slot receiver, you’ve seen us throw 50 bubble routes, those quick little deals and if the defense lines up the right way the ball goes to him. If they line up a different way, we’ll hand the ball off.

That's all RPO is in a nutshell - if the defense goes one way it's a run, if they go another way it's a pass.

That should end the interminable confusion. Right? Riiiiiiiight?
 

kutz

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Certain situations call for different things, let's just not let other defenses predicate us running the ball 3 times in a row and gaining 6 yards and having to punt. I think Richt is going to come up with a whole blend system that incorporates so many different things, maybe I'm just hopeful but I think he is getting all the pieces and info he needs to run a unique offense that we have never seen.
 

ghost2

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Certain situations call for different things, let's just not let other defenses predicate us running the ball 3 times in a row and gaining 6 yards and having to punt. I think Richt is going to come up with a whole blend system that incorporates so many different things, maybe I'm just hopeful but I think he is getting all the pieces and info he needs to run a unique offense that we have never seen.

Absolutely, and I'll put together some longer thoughts on that later. There's just been so much confusion as to what the heart of RPO means that I thought Richt's succinct quote warranted its own thread.
 

umhurricano

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I think some people confuse the basic RPO you describe--reading the defense at the line and having the option to audible to a run or pass--with the offense that was so in vogue when RG III and Kaepernick were in their ascendancy, which involved a lot of pulling the ball back from the RB and QB runs.

I hope Richt keeps exploiting defenses with quick decisions as the line, like we did against App St. What I didn't like, but what could potentially be more successful with a mobile quarterback, is all just going throw the motions of what amounts to ineffective play action and the QB sprinting out like he was keeping the ball for a run even though everyone on the planet knew Kaayak wasn't going to keep it.
 

IndayArtHauz

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Certain situations call for different things, let's just not let other defenses predicate us running the ball 3 times in a row and gaining 6 yards and having to punt. I think Richt is going to come up with a whole blend system that incorporates so many different things, maybe I'm just hopeful but I think he is getting all the pieces and info he needs to run a unique offense that we have never seen.

Absolutely, and I'll put together some longer thoughts on that later. There's just been so much confusion as to what the heart of RPO means that I thought Richt's succinct quote warranted its own thread.

Looking forward to this. From my perspective the issue has never been "RPO is the new 2-gap 3-4", but rather wondering if Richt was adept enough to use AND coach it efficiently (with his personnel). Any nuance you can bring to the issue would be welcome reading.
 

JHallCanes

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So you're telling me in an RPO we have the option of a run or a pass?

I don't believe it.
 

mossmadness

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People confuse RPO with read option, although I don't know why. We ran both last year, although I can only remember Kaaya keeping the ball once or twice on the read option.
 

ghost2

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People confuse RPO with read option, although I don't know why. We ran both last year, although I can only remember Kaaya keeping the ball once or twice on the read option.

Because the read-option can be integrated INTO the RPO giving it an added dimension a la Clemson/Louisville and others. Gonna try to do a write-up soon.
 

mossmadness

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People confuse RPO with read option, although I don't know why. We ran both last year, although I can only remember Kaaya keeping the ball once or twice on the read option.

Because the read-option can be integrated INTO the RPO giving it an added dimension a la Clemson/Louisville and others. Gonna try to do a write-up soon.

I'm not sure what you mean by "integrated"? The RPO is not an offensive system, it's just a series of play calls. Like the read-option is. There is no "integrating" one into the other. You're right that both can be run, and should be run. They both spread the defense out, and both allow you to get speed to the outside. And so ideally you should run both if your offensive philosophy is to spread the defense out and create mismatches for your speed to take advantage of.
But none of that explains why people have a hard time grasping "RPO" means "Run-Pass Option." Most people have seen a QB put the ball into a RB's gut and pull it out and throw it. Most people have seen a QB put the ball into a RB's gut and pull it out and throw it. So people are aware there are these two different things out there. So you don't have to be Bill Walsh to take an educated guess about which play, one involving a pass and one that doesn't, is the "run-PASS option."
 

RiDLer80

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Certain situations call for different things, let's just not let other defenses predicate us running the ball 3 times in a row and gaining 6 yards and having to punt. I think Richt is going to come up with a whole blend system that incorporates so many different things, maybe I'm just hopeful but I think he is getting all the pieces and info he needs to run a unique offense that we have never seen.

Ideally, if the defense "predicates" us to run the ball we're running into a favorable front and getting more than 6 yards on three carries.
 

RepTheGables

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I think what ghost2 means by "integrating the read-option into the RPO" is adding a third O(ption)- the quarterback run. So the QB can pass, hand off, or keep.
 

RiDLer80

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Coach Macho posted some good YouTube videos in another thread that broke down different RPOs. I'm at work now so I can't find them, but when I get home I'll look them up.

Basically the RPO is a called run in the huddle. The QB has the option to pull the ball or not based on a read. There's a single defender in no man's land that the QB is reading. If he reacts aggressively to a run towards the LOS then the QB pulls the ball and throws to a WR running one of several route options (slant, hook, bubble). If the defender drops in coverage on the run action then we should have a numbers advantage in the box and the QB hands the ball off.

If you watch the App State game highlights and go to the bubbles that Dayall Harris caught, notice how the line is run blocking on that play. The play call in the huddle is a run with that bubble built in. App State left Harris uncovered so that was easy pitch and catch for a couple of first downs. Go the WVU game on Richard's long TD. Same situation. WVU plays the run aggressive but Kaaya had the option to pull the ball and hit Richards on the curl route.
 

ghost2

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Since I promised this would be the last RPO thread I won't start a new one, but I wanted to briefly outline some ideas about how various aspects of the RPO concept are used successfully at other schools, and what elements would translate well to our offense with the athletes we have now and in the future. Caveat as always - I'm not a coach, not a former player. I'm just a guy with a keyboard who nerds out over stuff like this so any additions, corrections, or revisions are always welcome.

So, as explained above, the essence of the RPO concept is of course the Run-Pass Option. In other words, the QB comes to the line with a play that has two possible outcomes - a run, or a pass. The QB reads the defense both pre- and post-snap and looks for what's called a "conflict defender" - this is the guy on defense that has to make the decision to play the run or the pass. Often it's a LB, but not always (more on that later.) For example if the conflict defender is in the box playing the run, the QB can hit a quick slant or screen to where he was. Conversely, if the conflict defender is playing off, he can hand the ball off (or run it himself.)

Screen-Shot-2016-05-28-at-9.35.47-AM.jpg


In this pic we can see the Will LB is the conflict defender. At the snap, the QB reads him - if he cheats up to play the run, the QB can throw to the Y WR running the hitch. If he backs into zone, he can hand it to the RB.

Here's a video outlining a slant/middle RPO concept:

[video=youtube;3IwjsAJkPPU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IwjsAJkPPU[/video]

Note the first clip of this play is UGA with Aaron Murray.

Here's another video from raining FCS Champion (and my Alma Mater) JMU on their Power RPO/bubble concept:

[video=youtube_share;5G0fdcb0JwM]https://youtu.be/5G0fdcb0JwM[/video]

Where this gets fun is that the RPO can be expanded and built on from the simple "handoff or hitch" philosophy to include multiple pass-catching options and QB runs. Essentially, it builds off of the age-old concept of multiple play options from a single formation, so the personnel never dictates the playcall. Here's an article I found on Ole Miss (back in 2013 when Ole Miss was good) about a play they ran 5 times with four different options:

Packaged Plays and the Newest Form of Option Football «


Another place it gets fun (and this is where some of the confusion comes in) is when you add a QB's ability to tuck and run into the equation. Clemson and Louisville both add this dimension to the RPO with great success:

[video=youtube_share;HCWPNz6n8t4]https://youtu.be/HCWPNz6n8t4[/video]

Notice in this video the far-side screen/bubble WR. After the play-fake to the RB (the first read), the QB slides left. If that "conflicted" LB had crashed down on the playaction or backed into zone, Watson could turn it up and run. Instead, the LB is playing the QB run all the way, leaving the WR wide open with two blocking WRs to help.

The RPO can be run with the primary pass-catching option as a WR, but also with the TE or H-Back:

[video=youtube_share;dh5NJakk0R0]https://youtu.be/dh5NJakk0R0[/video]

Notice here the MLB crashing the middle to take away the inside zone. Watson again slides left and sees the other LB staying home to take away the QB run. He then simply drops it over his head to the H-Back for a nice gain. With the added element of QB runs, the RPO system adopts many of the precepts of the triple-option, only with a more "spread" philosophy.

Here's another RPO from Louisville that highlights the H-Back:

[video=youtube_share;DHYpOmk-UhY]https://youtu.be/DHYpOmk-UhY[/video]

Notice also the down and distance here - 3rd and 1. Shotgun, Power look (HB, FB, and H-Back all in the backfield.) Defense logically crashes down and the H-back sneaks out for big yardage - no need to line up in the Coker T. If the defense had been spread out all game long, perhaps they don't stack the box and Jackson could have just handed off to the RB for the needed yardage (or kept it on the edge if the DE had crashed inside.)



So how can/should Mark Richt integrate the RPO into Miami's offense? We already know he's installed many of the elementary single-read "handoff or pass" elements a la App State last year. As you can see above, while the basic RPO doesn't inherently require a "running QB", with the added dimension of at least the THREAT of a QB keep, many other options become available.

Imagine a basic 1st down setup: Rosier/Perry/QB of choice, Walton at RB, Herndon at H-back, AR at the X, Mullins at the Y, Dallas at the Z (for argument's sake.) From this personnel package could come any number of zone/power runs, hitches, bubbles, or slants to the slot or outside, even motion/jet sweeps to Deejay or Mullins depending on where the defense has been trending.

I'd wager most defenses this year will be hell-bent on stopping Walton and making whoever our new QB is beat them with his decision-making. The RPO is a great way to give any QB simple reads and one or two things to think about post-snap. Maybe we start out running those endless bubble screens to the outside to tighten up the DBs then go over the top or run a sluggo later in the game. Or maybe we work the inside slant/dig game to loosen up the LBs, mixed in with inside zone-reads to Walton to keep the defense guessing.


These are just initial thoughts - as always, I'm always up for discussion/correction!
 

BALDYCHUTES

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Richt speaking about Berrios yesterday:

Again, so much is predicated on what the defense does. If he’s a slot receiver, you’ve seen us throw 50 bubble routes, those quick little deals and if the defense lines up the right way the ball goes to him. If they line up a different way, we’ll hand the ball off.

That's all RPO is in a nutshell - if the defense goes one way it's a run, if they go another way it's a pass.

That should end the interminable confusion. Right? Riiiiiiiight?

I think you are confusing this with zone blocking.
 

dg151

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The RPO Miami used most often last season was more of a presnap read than post snap (which Miami also ran, the Richards TD in the bowl game likely being the most successful). The problem the offense ran into was it became predictable, and running IZ/OZ over and over again, even with the backside screen constraint, is easy to stop if the defense knows it's coming. If the defense has two deep, and leaves the slow uncovered, you can eat on that screen all day (which happened a few games). But even with 2 deep and even numbers in the box (LB/NB on slot), the DL/LBs can attack away from the back expecting the run to go there, with no QB run threat. Adding a QB run option to RPOs can obviously help, but they're not at all necessary to make them work. And if you're adding a qb run element but losing a significant passing threat, you end up hurting yourself and basically turning the offense into an updated flexbone. Miami saw a big improvement from basically the 2nd half of the ND game through the bowl when they started using a more varied run game and a quicker dropback pass offense. This includes both inside RPOs and outside of them.

I think calling them packaged plays would maybe confuse people less, because people see option and think QB run. Most of what Miami ran was IZ/OZ packaged with a backside slot screen. The term RPO seemed to gain more regular use when Ole Miss/Auburn started running the triple option. Miami also used these on backside slants or stops where Kaaya would read the backside LB post snap to hand off or pull and throw. Run/pass option also used to get used a lot by announcers to describe roll out plays where the QB had an option to take off and run or throw the ball.
 

ghost2

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The RPO Miami used most often last season was more of a presnap read than post snap (which Miami also ran, the Richards TD in the bowl game likely being the most successful). The problem the offense ran into was it became predictable, and running IZ/OZ over and over again, even with the backside screen constraint, is easy to stop if the defense knows it's coming. If the defense has two deep, and leaves the slow uncovered, you can eat on that screen all day (which happened a few games). But even with 2 deep and even numbers in the box (LB/NB on slot), the DL/LBs can attack away from the back expecting the run to go there, with no QB run threat. Adding a QB run option to RPOs can obviously help, but they're not at all necessary to make them work. And if you're adding a qb run element but losing a significant passing threat, you end up hurting yourself and basically turning the offense into an updated flexbone. Miami saw a big improvement from basically the 2nd half of the ND game through the bowl when they started using a more varied run game and a quicker dropback pass offense. This includes both inside RPOs and outside of them.

I think calling them packaged plays would maybe confuse people less, because people see option and think QB run. Most of what Miami ran was IZ/OZ packaged with a backside slot screen. The term RPO seemed to gain more regular use when Ole Miss/Auburn started running the triple option. Miami also used these on backside slants or stops where Kaaya would read the backside LB post snap to hand off or pull and throw. Run/pass option also used to get used a lot by announcers to describe roll out plays where the QB had an option to take off and run or throw the ball.

Awesome post - thank you!
 

LuCane

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The RPO Miami used most often last season was more of a presnap read than post snap (which Miami also ran, the Richards TD in the bowl game likely being the most successful). The problem the offense ran into was it became predictable, and running IZ/OZ over and over again, even with the backside screen constraint, is easy to stop if the defense knows it's coming. If the defense has two deep, and leaves the slow uncovered, you can eat on that screen all day (which happened a few games). But even with 2 deep and even numbers in the box (LB/NB on slot), the DL/LBs can attack away from the back expecting the run to go there, with no QB run threat. Adding a QB run option to RPOs can obviously help, but they're not at all necessary to make them work. And if you're adding a qb run element but losing a significant passing threat, you end up hurting yourself and basically turning the offense into an updated flexbone. Miami saw a big improvement from basically the 2nd half of the ND game through the bowl when they started using a more varied run game and a quicker dropback pass offense. This includes both inside RPOs and outside of them.

I think calling them packaged plays would maybe confuse people less, because people see option and think QB run. Most of what Miami ran was IZ/OZ packaged with a backside slot screen. The term RPO seemed to gain more regular use when Ole Miss/Auburn started running the triple option. Miami also used these on backside slants or stops where Kaaya would read the backside LB post snap to hand off or pull and throw. Run/pass option also used to get used a lot by announcers to describe roll out plays where the QB had an option to take off and run or throw the ball.
Was very helpful, along with keeping an extra blocker in at times. Our QB needed it. My hope is Richt continues to adjust and is quicker to it. Or, at least finds help from the staff to do so.
 
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